Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
1863 - 1866
[Our fortress] consists of a line of works called "lunettes" forming an irregular circle on both sides of Stones River. The "lunette" is a fortification having embankment, ditch, angles, and so forth in front, but open to the rear. Some of [the] smaller ... lunettes were defended at this opening by a stockade of hewn logs, but most of them are irregular half circles having no protection immediately behind them ... These works are all named for prominent Generals in this army...
Harvey Reid, corporal
22nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company A
This earthwork was named for Major General George H. Thomas, a native of Southhampton, Virginia. An 1840 West Point graduate, General Thomas commanded the XIVth corps of Rosecran's army in 1863.
No historic photographs of Fortress Rosecrans earthworks survives. This image shows trenches at Petersburg, Virginia in 1865.
Attention to orders
No one should be allowed to walk on the parapets, nor move or sit upon the gabions, barrels, or sandbags that may be placed upon them.
by Order of
Major General William S. Rosecrans, commanding
Army of the
You are standing near the dry ditch of Lunette Thomas. The tall earth mound to your left was once the main eastern wall of this Civil War defense. Imagine how long it took to build more than 14,000 feet of earthworks and ditches to protect Fortress Rosecrans. This stronghold could shelter 50,000 troops and warehouse the provisions they would need for up to 90 days.
Lunette Thomas is one of ten lunettes that made up Fortress Rosecrans.
Soldiers used sod to keep these earthen walls from eroding. The National Park Service continues that work by planting native grasses. These plants stabilize the earthworks while they improve the health of the park's wildlife.
Erected by Stones River National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
Location. 35° 50.995′ N, 86° 24.52′ W. Marker is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Golf Lane (Old Fort Street) and Overall Road, on the right when traveling north. Located along the trail in the Fortress Rosecrans unit of the Stones River National Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Murfreesboro TN 37129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least Living Under the Guns (within shouting distance of this marker); New Citizen Soldiers (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); I Never Saw Anything Like Them Before (about 400 feet away); Fortress Rosecrans (about 500 feet away); Covered by Cross Fires (about 600 feet away); Defense of Fortress Rosecrans (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Fortress Rosecrans (about 700 feet away); Toil and Mud (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Murfreesboro.
Also see . . . Fortress Rosecrans. National Park Service Stones River National Battlefield website entry (Submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 797 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on March 14, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.